740.0011 European War 1939/20683: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland (Harrison) to the Secretary of State

1260. Text of message, your 769, March 24, 4 p.m., was handed in the form of an aide-mémoire to Mr. Bonna21 Wednesday March 25. He assured me that he would consult with Federal Council or Pilet-Golaz22 as soon as possible. Pilet who had been absent from Bern asked me to call today. He explained that as the channel of communication between the American and the three Governments concerned, he felt free and was most ready to convey the message “officially”, but if this were not in accordance with your wishes he would have to consult his colleagues of the Federal Council. He was convinced he said that as soon as the message reached the Governments concerned, no matter in what form it should be delivered, they would immediately inform the German and Italian Governments thereof. He preferred not to approach the representatives of the three Governments in Bern and he did not feel that any attempt to convey the views outlined in the message through other channels would prove satisfactory. He proposed therefore provided you should be in agreement to transmit the message textually to the Swiss representatives in Bucharest, Budapest, and Sofia directing them to transmit the message to the Governments to which they are accredited respectively on the same day with, if you should so desire, a statement to the effect that “the American Government desires that the communication in question be considered as of an informal (officieuse) character”.

The Federal Council will meet Tuesday for the last time before the Easter holidays. I shall, therefore, appreciate your instructions by Monday23 if possible in the event that Mr. Pilet’s proposal as outlined above should not meet with your concurrence.24

  1. Division Chief in the Swiss Federal Political Department.
  2. Marcel Pilet-Golaz, Chief of the Swiss Federal Political Department.
  3. March 30.
  4. Department’s telegram No. 817, March 30, noon, instructed Minister Harrison to request the Swiss Government to communicate the text in question through the Swiss representatives in Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria in accordance with Pilet-Golaz’s friendly suggestion.